With his passionate, deep-set eyes, classical features, and ultra-suave manner, it is small wonder that French actor Charles Boyer was known as one of the great cinematic lovers. During the 20s, Boyer made a few nondescript silent films but was primarily a theatrical actor. From 1929-31 he made an unsuccessful attempt to make it in Hollywood before returning to Europe until 1934 when his films began to win public favor. He became a true star with Garden of Allah (1936), and went on to play opposite the most alluring actresses of the 30s and 40s, including Dorothy Lamarr, Ingrid Bergman, and Greta Garbo. During World War II he became active in encouraging French-American relations and established the French Research Foundation, for which he was awarded a special Academy Award in 1942 for “progressive cultural achievement” (he was nominated as an actor four times but never won). Later Boyer became an American citizen and went on to play more mature roles, including the occasional stage… read more
Maybe its time for a reevaluation of Charles Boyer's career. To me, he is as great as any actor in film history--Mastroianni, Cary Grant, Bogart, Chatterjee, Von Sydow, Guinness--you name him. Look at the list of his accomplishments. He was often more engaged and engaging than his leading ladies. My favorite performances are in "Love Affair," "Lilliom," "The Earrings of Madame de...," "Mayerling," "History Is Made At Night," "Conquest," "Back Street" and "Gaslight." He was also charming in "Cluny Brown" and many other films.